The Gambit of Giulio Cesare Polerio
In a manuscript of Giulio Cesare Polerio, dated by Giovanni Baffioni on 1579-1580, he stated that after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 gxf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.0-0 gxf3 6.Qxf3 White, although having lost a piece, has reached a winning position (waiving to provide further variations as it is sufficient to show to an experienced player the favourable position only but not the whole match).
In 1997 I followed the advice of Polerio in a rated CC match, Stock-Mayer 1997. I won but it created doubts in the theory of these days claiming that
a) the so called „double Muzio“ 6. – Qf6 7.e5 Qxe5 8.Bxf7+ is favourable for black thanks to the move of Taubenhaus 8.- Kxf7 9. d4 Qf5 „best…“ Steinitz 1889.
b) the so called „classical variation“ 6. – Qf6 7.e5 Qxe5 8.d3 promises a draw to White.
In ‚Das neue Königsgambit‘ by Stefan Bücker, 1986, the classical variation ended in a draw so that for White the so called ‚Abtauschvariante‘ 6. – Qf6 7.d3 is recommended, see
In 2000 Kaissiber 13 was published
including the novelties 17.- Rf8! (Bücker/Stock 1997) in the classical variation, 9.b3!? (Stock 1999) in the Bello Gambit, as well as 13.Rae1 (Schlechter 1916) 13. – Nf6! (Stock 1998) in the so called Brentano variation.
In the year 2013 I have serious doubts in the correctness of the sacrifice 5.0-0 proposed by Polerio in 1579/80, i.e. I suppose that 4. – g4 is a good move (as good as 4. – Bg7), perhaps a comprehension irrelevant for the theory of the King’s gambit – but for me.
I would like using this blog to discuss this thesis, as well as giving some historical backgrounds on Polerio’s gambit.